Lifestyle & Culture

YOUR CITY, OUR CANVAS- The Big Picture Fest (Review)

Newcastle CBD has become much brighter over the long weekend. Jayme Zimmermann reviews the new murals around town thanks to The Big Picture Festival.

The Big Picture Fest kicked off this long weekend and now the city of Newcastle is adorned with 12 beautiful large-scale murals across the city centre. I had the pleasure of walking around the sites with my beloved partner Izaak on Saturday the 3rd of October to have a look at what these amazing local artists have designed for our city.

As it was a live event, not all the works were completed, however, this made viewing the works interesting as I got to see the various artists processes and progress. I found it amazing to watch these artists create such different, large works with large rigs and outside support. It was really exciting to watch the work come to life in front of you, a very refreshingly new experience.

Fintan Magee’s work is absolutely stunning. It is located on Civic Lane, opposite Museum Park. The 7-story wall shows a gorgeous image of a woman holding a bunch of flowers. The image is painted in this amazing way that it looks like it’s moving, it really comes to life on the wall that at first, I thought it was painted on a textured surface but upon further inspection, I realised that artist has painted this effect. Magee is a fabulous realist painter and this work I believe is a beautiful addition to Newcastle.

Brontë Naylor has her piece located on the wall of Civic Theatre, facing NUSpace, and although it wasn’t yet completed when I viewed it, it was beginning to take shape and looked like it would be a very interesting piece. I already loved the silhouette and detail of the human figure in the work, and I think the colours chosen complement and highlight the surrounding space well.

One of my favourite works we viewed was Inari’s beautiful piece that is on the back corner of University House, facing NUSpace. She had already made quite a lot of progress having completed painting a large-scale face of a woman with flower detailing. It appeared as though she had finished the colouring and detailing of the face as it looked so lifelike and polished. I can’t wait to see the final product.

Vans the Omega and Tuns’ works is based on the corner of Union and King street, in Besties carpark. I think they’re both really great graffiti pieces that are bright and fun, and I love the colour palette chosen.

We got to view the process of Ellie Hannon’s work as she was painting her mural, located at 158 King Street, near Popolo. My partner really liked this one. We loved the colours and how they now made the building stand out so much. We’re both really looking forward to seeing this one finished but also found it really fun to see the artists at work.

Mitch Revs’ work was another one of our favourites with his sea-inspired mural, located at the Evolve Housing Corridor in Museum Park. It wasn’t yet finished but was well on the way, and was so beautiful to look at. The detail in the piece, especially the lettering, was really well done. Tom Henderson and Sophia Flegg’s works were also at this location. Henderson’s work was taking shape well and looked like an interesting abstract piece. Flegg’s piece was my favourite – I would love for her to come paint my house. I loved their use of the bright bursts of colours and the detailing looked amazing. Seeing these three works side by side was so fascinating as they were so different but really complimented each other and the space well.

Olas One was another cool graffiti piece located on the sidewall of Foghorn Brewery. We got to watch him mark out and spray paint some of his work. It was fun being able to watch works come together in real-time and see the artists’ process.

Jasmine Craciun’s work was another great work that we got to see progress done in real-time. Her work is on 148 King Street, on the side facing Brown Street. It was great to watch her paint the detailing of her figures in her piece. I love the colours and I really think it will look amazing once finished.

Jordan Lucky and Patricia Van Lubeck’s works are located on opposite corners of Union and King Street, and are both so different but are both uniquely beautiful. Lucky’s work was mostly completed (the colours are phenomenal) and the amount of detail already shown was crazy. I really enjoyed viewing this piece. Then once you cross the road you see Van Lubeck’s piece – it was very much still the process of being completed, but the colours of the trees and what detailing there were in the work already was stunning to look at. I believe both works enhance the surrounding area and are both unique and eye-catching.

Overall, I think The Big Picture Fest is a great thing for Newcastle in promoting local artists, as well as to bring vibrancy to our city. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing all the artworks and even more so enjoyed being able to view firsthand these incredible artists create their works in real-time. It was great to be able to interact with them and tell them how much we loved the work they were doing. I look forward once the festival has concluded to be able to view all the works completed, and I hope that more events like this occur to promote the arts in Newcastle.

Feature Image: Jayme Zimmermann, Yak Media Writer.

In-text Images: Jayme Zimmermann, Yak Media Writer.

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